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'''Effective character level (ECL)''' is a way to compensate for certain [[class]]es having a harder time at low levels in Neverwinter Nights (especially in single player). DnD accomplishes this by counting some classes as a lower level when calculating the [[experience point]]s for killing monsters, though NWN implements by this by instead considering the monsters killed to have a higher [[challenge rating]] (CR) based on the class levels of the killer. With the [[expansion pack]]s, NWN abandoned the use of ECL, and thus it is only used in the [[original campaign]] and in modules made with a Toolset that does not have the expansions. For a multiclassed character, the bonus to CR for the monster's killed is the sum of the bonus for each class level.
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'''Effective character level (ECL)''' is a way to compensate for certain [[class]]es having a harder time at low levels in Neverwinter Nights (especially in single player). DnD accomplishes this by counting some classes as a lower level when calculating the [[experience point]]s for killing monsters, though NWN implements this by instead considering the monsters killed to have a higher [[challenge rating]] (CR) based on the class levels of the killer. With the [[expansion pack]]s, NWN abandoned the use of ECL, and thus it is only used in the [[original campaign]] and in modules made with a Toolset that does not have the expansions. For a multiclassed character, the bonus to CR for the monster's killed is the sum of the bonus for each class (by its class level).
   
 
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Revision as of 14:26, May 13, 2010

Effective character level (ECL) is a way to compensate for certain classes having a harder time at low levels in Neverwinter Nights (especially in single player). DnD accomplishes this by counting some classes as a lower level when calculating the experience points for killing monsters, though NWN implements this by instead considering the monsters killed to have a higher challenge rating (CR) based on the class levels of the killer. With the expansion packs, NWN abandoned the use of ECL, and thus it is only used in the original campaign and in modules made with a Toolset that does not have the expansions. For a multiclassed character, the bonus to CR for the monster's killed is the sum of the bonus for each class (by its class level).

Current
level
CR bonus
bard cleric druid monk rogue sorcerer
wizard
others
1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 1 1 1 0 1 1 0
3 1 2 1 0 1 2 0
4 2 2 2 1 2 2 0
5 1 3 2 2 1 3 0
6 1 2 2 1 1 2 0
7 1 0 0 0 1 1 0
8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
13 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
14+ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Pen and paper comparison

In pen and paper D&D, ECL is used to compensate for the traits of the more powerful races. The average drow, for example, has several powerful abilities that make her more powerful than a human, and so would always be considered to be two levels higher than the sum of her class levels. Thus a drow character would gain levels slower than a human, balancing out the racial advantages.

BioWare did not implement this racial ECL presumably because they implemented neither subraces nor monster races, which are the main sources of racial ECL.

Notes

  • Some modules have scripted various systems to implement subraces, and some of these include pen-and-paper style ECL. One such system utilizes racial hit dice, but this solution has the drawback of using one of the character's three potential classes for these racial hit dice, limiting characters with racial hit dice to two "real" classes.
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